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Citi Secured MasterCard
Consumer Reviews, Credit Score and Income Needed, Credit Limits

Picture of Citi® Secured Mastercard®
30 Reviews
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Card Details
Card Details

Annual Fee: $0
Deposit: $200 to $2,500
APR: 23.74%

Our Take
Our Take

The Citi Secured Mastercard is one of the better secured credit cards for rebuilders because there is no annual fee and you can graduate to an unsecured Citicard. You have to be aware of a few quirks like being aware that you have to hold the card for 18 months, that you cannot add further deposits and that if you have been through BK, you need to be discharged for 2 years before you can apply. But otherwise, it is a pretty decent secured credit card to build or rebuild your credit.

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Credit Score: 533 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 25-34
Income On Application: $36500
Posted 11/18 2019
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I applied for this card with fear thinking I would've be approved. I was denied with Capital One secured card, also denied for the Discover it Card. But I was instantly approved for the Citi Secured Card at the time of applying my score was between a 518-533 CS. When I applied they reported as secured.I applied on 11/05/2019 They pulled the funds on 11/07/2019. They gave me a confirmation of my approval credit card date of 11/11/2019. Since then when they submitted the report as "secured" on my credit. My score instantly increased 55 pts. I am grateful for this card. I also applied for a BoA secured credit card with a higher limit and was instantly approved as well.
Credit Score: 538 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 02/26 2018
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I had previously applied for the Citi Secured once but was denied. A year later, I tried again. This time, I got the "thank you for applying, we are processing your application and will be in touch within 1 week". 2 days later, I saw that Citi had taken funds out of my bank account. Later during that same afternoon, I got an email asking me to call a number to "continue processing my application". I called the number and was asked to verify my income and my mortgage. After answering all the questions, I asked if I was approved and the rep said "not yet". She said if I was not approved the funds will be returned. Five days later, I got the following email :

"Congratulations, you've been approved!

We're delighted to let you know you've been approved for the Citi® card, with a credit limit of $300. Your account is considered open as of today, 03/15/17.

Your card should be arriving in 7-10 days in a plain white envelope. To start enjoying the many benefits of your card, activate it as soon as it arrives.

You can always find a full list of your card benefits here. Once you have your new card in hand, you'll be able to log in and experience the full site.

Thank you for choosing Citi for your financial needs!"

I have had the card for almost a year now and so far there has been no hiccups. The only thing that pissed me off a little was that I could not add to my deposit. I wanted to rent a car for a one week vacation and needed a larger amount than my deposit (factoring the hold that rental companies will place on your card). However, I was told that was not possible.
Credit Score: 496 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 35-44
Posted 09/21 2017
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I am very happy that I was approved for this card. I have about 5 collections (couple of Capital One which I why I am not apply for their card at the moment). The collections were due to my job loss and income situation. However, I am back on my fee with a new job and I have resolved about 3 of those collections. My score has increased 60 points since. I love the card and the app is so easy to use.
Credit Score: 566 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Income On Application: $45000
Posted 04/11 2017
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When I applied for this card, my score was in the mid 500s. I deposited $500 and the whole application process took about 2 weeks. It has been four months now and I have had no problems with the card. Like many folks here say, the app is very useful. I checked my credit reports and Citi reports as secured. I have paid in full always and have actually set up autopay. I hope to graduate because at the end of the day, my target is to get a American Airlines citicard.
Credit Score: 610 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 25-34
Posted 02/23 2017
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I did not have any credit history but had a citi checking account. So I decided to get the Citi Secured to build my credit history. I applied and deposited $300. The whole process took about 2 weeks. I have been using card for about a year now. My credit score has gone up about 80 points. I recently called customer service to ask about graduating to an unsecured card. I was told that I need to hold on to this card for about 18 months and if I am approved then, my deposit will be returned and I will graduate. So it looks like I have a few more months to go. But I decided not to wait and applied to Discover it and Cap One Venture and I was approved for both ($7000 and $5000).
Credit Score: 537 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Income On Application: $55000
Posted 09/24 2016
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After I applied for the card, I was not sure if I was approved or not. 3 days later, money was taken out of the checking account but I did not get an approval email. In fact I got it 7 days after I applied and it said something like 'congratulations, you have been approved'. The card took about another week to show up.

Once I got the card, I activated via the app. I started to use the card and the app tracked everything. When I made a purchase, it showed up on the app pretty quickly. I also used it to pay my bills. After I paid my bills, it usually only takes a day for the payment to clear. After a month with the card, I checked my score and they were up. My creditkarma score went up 70 points while my actual EX score went up 30 points. I started at about 537 in EX when I got the card, FYI
Credit Score: 538 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 06/18 2016
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I just want to share my story of how Citi graduated me to an unsecured card. Most of you will know that you have to keep your deposit for at least 18 months. Once I reached the 18 months mark, I got an alert that there was a hard pull on my TU report. I did not apply for any credit so that came as a surprise to me. I did some investigation and found out that it was a hard pull by Citi. Then I got a letter from them telling me that I had graduated and that my check for the initial deposit will be returned to me. I was also told that I will be graduating to the Citi Diamond Preferred. But the letter did not say what the new credit limit will be. I was told I could continue using the secured card until the new card arrived.

After the new card arrived, I called customer service to ask about my credit limit. I was told that I will graduate with the same limit on the card ($300 only!!!). I asked about a credit limit increase and was told that it would result in a hard pull. I decided not to pursue that and look to PC the card into perhaps the citi double cash and take the hit on the hard pull then. As a reference, my score went from 538 when I applied to 680 when I graduated.
Credit Score: 526 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 25-34
Posted 03/23 2016
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When I was rebuilding my credit, I had a few secured cards including Citi, Capital One and Opensky and Discover it. So I think I am well qualified to comment on Citi. But first, all the secured credit cards I had were good and gave me no problems at all. I was able to rebuild my credit and now I have closed most of them or they have graduated.

Since I had a few cards, I only put the minimum deposit required for each. In Citi's case, it was $200. The thing that really impressed me with Citi was their app. It was very user friendly. I could check my activity with it and pay my bills with the app too. What was most impressive however was the the fact that the moment I paid my bills, my available credit adjusts immediately. For my other cards, it will adjust only after the payment has cleared, which normally takes a couple of business days.
Credit Score: 585 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 03/04 2016
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I got this card to build my credit. I did not get any credit cards in college and also used cash only for years. But I decided to build a history so that I could eventually get a mortgage. I deposited $500 to start off. I used my card like most would. I charge my netflix and cell phone bills on the card. I also use their app a lot and pay from the app. It is quick and easy and your credit becomes available after you pay from the app. I got upgraded to an unsecured citi diamond card with 0% intro ap as well after two and a half years.
Credit Score: 470 Credit Limit: 1000 Age: 18-24
Posted 07/26 2015
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My credit score was below 500 when I got the Citi secured card. I had many collections and derogs on my report. I myself am surprised that I have managed to pull out of my mess and not file BK. I deposited $500 and started using the card as most folks in my situation would do. I simply charged my hulu account and t-mobile to it and set my account to autopay.

One thing I noticed is that my scores improve the moment I got my card and about six months after using it. But it depends on which score you are using. For example, my credit karma score went up 100 points almost immediately after a billing cycle or two. However, my actuall FICO TU score went up just 30 points initially. After I got this card, I also applied and was approved of the Cap One secured and Opensky card. After about a year with the card, my TU scores have gone up like 70 points. Since I got other cards, I cannot attribute all of this to Citi's card but a combination of having credit and using it responsibly. My credit karma score went up an additonal 30 points.

The reason I wanted to highlight all this is because you read in many places (including here) that someone's score went up 100 points after using a secured card. But many times, those are not the real FICO scores. They are kind of FAKO scores like creditkarma and others. Your real FICO scores take longer to increase but these are the real scores that lenders use.
Credit Score: 490 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 07/11 2015
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After losing my job 3 years ago, I ran into cash flow problems and my credit score tanked. I finally decided to pick my self up and start to rebuild my credit. Citi was one of the several secured credit cards I got that I was approved for. When I applied, my score was 490 with EX. I have one charge off and four collections and was surprised I was still approved. It was not instant approval though. I received the 7-10 days "we will review your application" reply. But 3 days later, money was taken out of my checking account but when I called, they said it was still pending! About 10 days later, I received my card.

The app is easy to use and very helpful. I could monitor the card activity and pay it from the app as well. The only thing that bugged me a bit was that Citi does not allow you to increase your deposit and limit. Other than that, this is a pretty good card to get for rebuilders.